|PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Lao Minister of Industry and Commerce Malaythong Kommasith at the meeting in Hanoi on December 23. Photo: NDO
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh received Lao Minister of Industry and Commerce Malaythong Kommasith and senior officials of the country’s Ministry of Energy and Mines in Hanoi on December 23, VNA reported.
The visiting officials are in Vietnam to attend an annual cooperation and development conference between the two countries’ industry and trade, energy, and mining sectors.
Hailing Vietnam-Laos relations, PM Chinh highlighted that despite complicated regional and international situations, bilateral ties have been thriving, especially with trade revenue reaching USD 1.63 billion in 2022.
He asked the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Laos to cooperate more effectively with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade to continue devising and implementing concrete and practical measures to boost trade and investment partnerships on par with political ties and capitalising on the two sides’ advantages.
The host asked both sides to increase experience sharing, coordinate to deal with difficulties in a timely manner, and assist each other’s countries to build independent and self-reliant economies that actively and proactively integrate into the world in the spirit of equitable cooperation.
For his part, Minister Kommasith said trade between Vietnam and Laos has been growing but is yet to match its potential.
He affirmed that his ministry will strengthen cooperation with the Vietnamese side to tighten trade links, particularly cross-border trade, matching the two countries’ strengths and demands, including in the energy and mining sectors.
|At the meeting in Hanoi on December 23. Photo: NDO
Despite Covid-19, two-way trade between the two nations has maintained stable growth. Vietnam remains among Laos’s top three trade partners, with annual two-way trade hitting USD 1.28 billion.
Meanwhile, Laos is now the largest overseas investment market for Vietnamese enterprises, which have poured USD 5.34 billion into 238 projects in the neighboring country.
The Vietnam-Laos border runs 2,161 kilometers (1,342 miles) across 10 provinces in the northern and central parts of Vietnam. Import-export tariffs have been basically removed in line with commitments in the ASEAN Economic Community, the Vietnam-Laos Trade Agreement, and the Vietnam-Laos Border Trade Agreement.
Earlier this month, PM Pham Minh Chinh had a meeting with his Lao counterpart Phankham Viphavanh in Brussels, as part of his trip to Belgium to attend the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit.
The two PMs welcomed the successful implementation of four key projects between the two countries and the start of three new ones, expressing their belief that these projects will be implemented effectively, promoting the connection between the two economies and bringing practical benefits to the people and businesses of both nations.
They agreed to continue efforts to remove obstacles and difficulties facing cooperation projects, towards deepening the bilateral relations in a more substantive and comprehensive manner.